Publication - Consultation paper

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 draft: strategic environmental assessment (SEA)

Published: 22 Nov 2018

Findings of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the consultation draft of Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029.

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 draft: strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
Appendix C: Baseline Information of relevance to the Forestry Strategy

120 page PDF

2.5 MB

Appendix C: Baseline Information of relevance to the Forestry Strategy

Environmental Topic

Baseline Information

Key Data



Population and Human Health

Age structure (2017)

17% of the population is under 16 years of age; 64% is between 16 and 64; 19% is 65 and over

Scotland's population is aging, with people 75 and over projected to become the fastest growing age group in Scotland

National Records of Scotland - Age Demographics

Life expectancy at birth (2015)

76.9 years for males; 81.0 years for females; 79.0 years combined male and female

this figure has shown general improvement over the long term (i.e. from 68.7 for males and 75.1 for females in 1980)

NHS Information Services Division - Life Expectancy

Mortality rates (2016)

1 136 per 100 000

there has been a 27% drop in overall mortality since 1994, reflecting a cumulative decline in deaths from cancer, coronary heart disease, respiratory conditions, and stroke

National Records of Scotland - Mortality Rates

Deprivation (2016)

many of the 5% most deprived areas in Scotland are clustered to the west of the Central Belt, particularly in and near Glasgow City

between 2012 and 2016, the largest increases in share of the 20% most deprived areas occurred across West Dunbartonshire, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire

Scottish Government - Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016

Access to greenspace (2016)

65% of adults live within a 5 minute walk of their nearest greenspace

this figure has remained relatively stable over time (2013)

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from the 2016 Scottish Household Survey

Frequency of use of local greenspace (2016)

36% of adults visit their nearest greenspace several times a week; 41% visit once a week or less; 23% do not visit at all

greenspace usage has remained relatively stable over time (2013) but may decline as the population ages

as above

Outdoor visits (2016)

48% of adults visit the outdoors at least once a week; 13% do not visit at all; people in deprived areas are less likely to visit the outdoors

this figure has remained relatively stable over time (2013)

as above

Participation in physical activity (2016)

79% of adults reported participating in sport and exercise in the past month, including walking

this figure has increased by 17% since 2007, mostly due to increases in recreational walking

as above

Active travel (2016)

69% of adults surveyed reported walking and 6% of adults reported cycling in the past week, with walking accounting for 24% of all journeys taken and cycling accounting for 1% of all journeys taken in 2016

between 2012 and 2016, the annual distance cycled in Scotland appears to have increased by 13.5%

Transport Scotland - Transport and Travel in Scotland 2016

Pressures on population and human health

poor air quality, physical inactivity, inadequate housing conditions, deprivation, physical and mental health issues, ageing population and age-related diseases (e.g. dementia), climate change (e.g. increased vulnerability to flooding)


SPICe Briefing – Air Quality in Scotland; Scottish Government – A National Clinical Strategy for Scotland; SPICe Briefing – Good for climate, good for health;

Biodiversity, Flora, and Fauna

Forest and woodland cover (2017)

1 440 000ha (18% of Scotland's land area)

forest and woodland cover has increased over the 20th century from 351 000ha in 1905 to 656 000ha in 1965 to 1 281 000ha in 1995-99

Forestry Commission - Forestry Statistics 2017; see also Figure B3 (Appendix D) (Native Woodland Survey of Scotland 2014)

New planting (2016-2017)

4 800ha planted (73% of UK total amount)

new planting has decreased since 2012-2013 (7 000ha)

as above

New planting by ownership (2016-2017)

1 100ha Forestry Commission

private sector new planting has decreased (e.g. 6 200ha in 2012-2013) but has remained greater than Forestry Commission new planting (e.g. 800ha in 2012-2013)

as above

3 700ha private sector

New planting by forest type (2016-2017)

3 200ha conifers

broadleaf planting has decreased considerably to become less extensive than conifer planting, which has increased

as above

1 500ha broadleaves

Woodland area by ownership (2017)

470 000ha (33%) owned by FC; 970 000ha (67%) owned by the private sector

these proportions have been fairly stable since 2013

as above

Species composition (2017)

74% conifers (1 061 000ha)

no trend data available

as above

26% broadleaved species (378 000ha)

Native woodland cover (2013)

319 100ha (22.5% of Scotland's total woodland area as of March 2011 and roughly 4.0% of Scotland's total land area)

native woodland cover decreased during the 20th century but began to recover after 1985 in response to policy changes

Forestry Commission - Native Woodland Survey of Scotland; SNH - Natural Heritage Trends - Forest and woodland: native woodland; see also Figure B3 (Appendix D) (Native Woodland Survey of Scotland 2014)

Condition (2013)

46% found to be in satisfactory condition

overall, conditions are stable or declining, with some areas exhibiting improvements and others declining

as above; Scotland's Environment – Woodlands and forests

Ancient woodland cover (2013)

120 305ha (65% / 64 130ha of these ancient woodlands qualify as native woodland, comprising 20.6% of native woods in total and just 4.6% of all woodlands in Scotland)

in comparison to previous surveys (i.e. Scottish Ancient Woodland Inventory), ancient woodland cover appears to have decreased

as above

Condition (2013)

40% found to be in satisfactory condition

no trend data available

as above

UK BAP Priority habitat types (woodland)

lowland mixed deciduous, native pine woodlands, upland birchwoods, upland mixed ashwoods, upland oakwood, wet woodland, wood pasture and parkland

SNH – Habitat definitions

HabMoS – EUNIS land cover

coastal habitats; constructed, industrial, and other artificial habitats; grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses, or lichens; habitat complexes; heathland, scrub, and tundra; inland surface waters; inland unvegetated or sparsely vegetated habitats; marine habitats; mires, bogs, and fens; montane habitats; regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural, and domestic habitats; woodland, forest, and other wooded land


see also Figures B9 and B10 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)

Designated protected areas (2016)

1 423 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), 51 Ramsar sites, 153 Special Protection Areas (SPAs), 249 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)


SNH - Protected areas

Condition of notified species National Indicator (SSSI, Ramsar, SPA, SAC) (2016)

71% of all species features were in favourable condition; 3% were unfavourable recovering; 3% were unfavourable with corrective measures agreed; and 24% were in an unfavourable condition

Species % favourable/unfavourable recovering
Terrestrial mammals 88%
Birds 72%
Fish 76%
Marine mammals 57%
Amphibians and reptiles 50%
Dragonflies 100%
Butterflies 87%
Invertebrates 82%
Vascular plants 82%
Non-vascular plants 65%

considered to be in stable condition

SNH Biodiversity Indicator S010 – Condition of notified species

Condition of notified habitats national indicator (SSSI, Ramsar, SPA, SAC) (2016)

Reporting category (sample size) % favourable/unfavourable recovering
Geological (648) 95%
Upland (324) 74%
Heath (380) 56%
Woodland (502) 53%
Grassland (222) 50%
Freshwater (223) 73%
Wetland (347) 70%
Marine (103) 98%
Coastal (334) 82%

considered to be in stable condition

SNH Biodiversity Indicator S011 – Condition of notified habitats

Index of abundance of terrestrial breeding birds national indicator (2016)

indicates: environmental change and condition of biodiversity overall

all-species figure is 14% higher than 1994; farmland birds increased in number up to the late-2000s then decreased, showing an overall 14% increase over 1994; woodland birds have seen a significant increase (67%) since 1994; upland birds have decreased (16%) in the same time period

SNH – Index of Abundance for Scottish Terrestrial Breeding Birds, 1994 to 2016

Index of terrestrial insect abundance – butterflies (2017)

indicates: habitat loss and fragmentation and the impacts of climate change

all-species, generalist, and specialist numbers are considered to be stable since 1979

SNH Biodiversity Indicator S008 – Terrestrial Insect Abundance - Butterflies

Deer population in woodland habitats (2016)

Species National population
red deer between 85 000 and 105 000
roe, Sika, and fallow deer between 125 000 and 145 000
all species between 210 000 and 250 000

trend data is uncertain; across private woodlands, estimates indicate the population could be stable or falling slightly; on National Forest Estate land, figures suggested the population for all deer species combined dropped by 24% between June 2001 and June 2016

SNH – Deer Management in Scotland: Report to the Scottish Government from Scottish Natural Heritage 2016

Impacts of deer grazing on woodlands

  • more than a third of all native woodlands were found to be in the high or very high herbivore impact categories (C and D), which would be likely to prevent successful tree and shrub regeneration of most species in most cases if the impact were to be maintained at that level
  • a little over half of native woodlands fell in the medium impact rating (B) category, meaning that whilst some regeneration is possible, the more vulnerable species may not be able to regenerate
  • although it is difficult to assign impacts to particular herbivores, deer were recorded as a significant presence in 73% of native woodland areas
  • deer and herbivores are also a major cause (89%) of unfavourable condition of natural features in protected woodland areas

Forestry Commission - Native Woodland Survey of Scotland; SNH – Deer Management in Scotland: Report to the Scottish Government from Scottish Natural Heritage 2016; see also Figures B11, B12 and B13 (Appendix D)

Challenges associated with deer management

cost; different environmental and social contexts requiring different approaches (e.g. different patterns of land ownership); lack of coordination in some instances; associated environmental impacts (e.g. impacts on public access, landscape, protection of native woodland, etc.)


SNH – Deer Management in Scotland: Report to the Scottish Government from Scottish Natural Heritage 2016; see also Figure B4 (Appendix D)

Pressures on biodiversity

pollution; land use intensification and modification; spread of invasive species and wildlife disease; a lack of recognition of the true value of nature; a disconnection with nature; climate change; marine exploitation


SNH – Key pressures on biodiversity



in general, Scotland's soils are young, acidic, carbon rich, and nutrient poor compared to those found elsewhere in UK and mainland Europe


SEPA - Making the Case for the Environment: Soil

Main soil types

podzols (associated with coniferous woodland), brown earths (associated with semi-natural woodlands to the west), gleys, organic peat soils


The James Hutton Institute - Soils - Introduction

Condition (2014)

Scotland's soils are considered to be in good condition

no trend data available

Scotland's Environment - State and Trend Assessment

Pressures on soils

changes in climate and changes in land use and land management practices leading to loss of soil organic matter, erosion, compaction, soil sealing, contamination, leaching, and changes in soil biodiversity


Scotland's Soils – Our soils

Spatial extent of peatlands (blanket bog, raised bog, fens, and bog woodland) (2015)

peatlands cover more than 20% of Scotland's land area, mostly to the north and west with smaller pockets elsewhere; blanket bog alone covers 23% of Scotland's land area (1.8 million hectares)


SNH – Scotland's National Peatland Plan; see also Figure B7 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)

Condition of peatlands (2018)

it is estimated that over 80% of peatlands are degraded; 70% of blanket bog and 90% of raised bog has sustained some level of damage

certain peatlands are considered to be improving due to focused restoration efforts

Scotland's Soils - Peatland Restoration; SNH – Scotland's National Peatland Plan; ClimateXChange - NB22a Peatland restoration area

Pressures on peatland

commercial peat extraction and general harvesting, overgrazing, trampling by herbivores, burning, drainage and conversion to agricultural land and development, tree planting and woodland expansion, renewable energy generation, climate change


SNH – Commission Report No. 701 – Scotland's peatland – definitions and information resources

Carbon abatement from peatland restoration (2012)

estimated at 0.018 Mt CO2e/year

by 2027, carbon savings could increase to 0.4-0.7 Mt CO2e/year based on a realistic restoration program

ClimateXChange – Soil Carbon and Land Use in Scotland

Soil carbon storage (2011)

3 000 million tonnes (roughly 50% of the UK total)

this figure has remained relatively stable over time, although there may be small changes in individual land use categories over short time periods

as above

Rocks and landforms

Rocks: volcanic foundation rocks (Central Belt); Lewisian-like and Moine-like rocks overlain by Dalradian foundation rocks (Grampian Highlands); Moine and Lewisian-like foundation rocks (Northern Highlands); Lewisian rocks, Torridonian rocks, and Cambrian and Ordovician foundation rocks (North-west seaboard); sedimentary greywacke and shale foundation rocks (Southern Uplands); various rocks formed since joining of foundations (Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian to Cretaceous, Palaeogene and Neogene)


SNH – Scotland's rocks, landforms and soils

Landforms: caves and karst, coastal features (e.g. cliffs, sand dunes), Ice Age landforms (e.g. moraines, meltwater channels and deposits, periglacial features, etc.), landslides, rivers

Condition of rocks and landforms (2014)

Scotland's rocks and landforms considered to be in generally good condition

conditions are considered to be stable or declining

Scotland's Environment – Rocks and landforms


urban and rural development; changes in land use; demand for resources; climate change; rising sea levels; vegetation growth; dumping of waste material; quarrying, mining, and gravel extraction; coastal protection and river engineering; specimen collection


as above

Geological Conservation Review sites

nearly 900, covering features such as rocks, minerals, and fossils; landform features formed during the Ice Age; and modern rivers and coasts; a significant proportion of these are covered by protective SSSI designations but more than 200 are unnotified and so their protection is not guaranteed


SNH – Geological Conservation Review sites; see also Figure B1 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)

Condition of SSSI with earth sciences features (including Geological Conservation Review sites) (2018)

Condition Number of sites
Favourable 625
Recovering 23
Unfavourable 14
Not assessed 2

the majority of features experienced no change in condition increased between 2010 and 2016 (i.e. are considered to be stable)

Scotland's Environment – Data Analysis – Protected Nature Sites


Water bodies in Scotland

125 000 km of river, 25 500 lochs (2 000 km2), 49 estuaries (1 000 km2), 19 000 km of coastline (48 000 km2), and 462 000 km2 of offshore waters; additionally, significant volumes of groundwater (greater than rivers and lochs combined)


Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2016; BGS/SEPA - Scotland's aquifers and groundwater bodies

Surface water conditions (total number of water bodies) (2016)

High status 172
Good status 1134
Moderate status 607
Poor status 368
Bad status 128

since 2007, conditions have been stable or improving

SEPA – Water Environment Hub

High status 106
Good status 109
Moderate status 80
Poor status 36
Bad status 3

since 2007, conditions have been stable or improving

High status 12
Good status 29
Moderate 7

since 2007, conditions have been stable or improving

Coastal waters
High status 143
Good status 312
Moderate status 1
Poor status 1

since 2007, conditions have been stable or declining

Groundwater conditions (2016)

Good status 320
Poor status 83

since 2012, conditions have been stable or improving

as above

Protected areas conditions (2016)

Bathing waters
Excellent status 25
Good status 34
At target objective 16
Poor status 11
Shellfish waters
At target objective 29
Not at target objective 51

longer term trend data is unavailable but figures have remained stable or improved since 2014

as above

Pressures on rivers and lochs

agriculture, sewage disposal, hydropower and water supply, urban development, climate change, obstacles to fish migration, atmospheric pollution, invasive non-native species


Scotland's State of the Environment Report 2014

Pressures on transitional waters

waste water, diffuse pollution, habitat modifications, climate change, water abstraction, noise, dredging, invasive non-native species, litter


as above

Pressures on coastal waters

climate change, fishing, inputs of nutrients, contaminants, dredging and dumping, aquaculture, microbiological contamination, noise, litter, invasive non-native species


as above

Pressures on groundwater

diffusion pollution from rural sources, discharges from industries such as mining and quarrying, abstraction for agricultural irrigation and industry


as above

Flood risk (2015)

1 in 22 homes and 1 in 13 businesses are at risk from flooding

episodes of flooding are expected to become more common and severe in response to climate change

SEPA - Flood risk management in Scotland; Committee on Climate Change - Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme: An independent assessment for the Scottish Parliament


Condition (2014)

air quality in Scotland overall is considered to be moderate, with localised areas of higher concentrations of certain pollutants that are the subject of special management measures (i.e. Air Quality Management Areas [AQMAs])

in 2017, 83 sites across Scotland met national air quality standards while 4 sites did not (Glasgow Kerbside, Edinburgh St Johns Road, Dundee Lochee Road, and Dundee Seagate)

air quality has generally been improving in recent years

Scotland's State of the Environment Report 2014; Air Quality in Scotland; see also Figure B6 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment – Air Quality)

Main air pollutants

nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (fine dust), sulphur dioxide, ammonia, volatile organic compounds, ozone


Scotland's Environment – Air quality

Ammonia emissions (2015)

37 ktonnes

10% reduction in emissions since 1990

Air Quality Pollutant Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: 1990-2015 (National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory)

PM10 emissions (2015)

12 ktonnes

63% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) emissions (2015)

140 ktonnes

66% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Nitrogen oxides/NOxemissions (2015)

84 ktonnes

71% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Carbon monoxide emissions (2015)

112 ktonnes

83% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Sulphur dioxide emissions (2015)

23 ktonnes

92% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Lead emissions (2015)

0 ktonnes (2.8 tonnes)

99% reduction in emissions since 1990

as above

Air Quality Management Area (AQMAs) (2018)

38 (mostly due to traffic emissions)

as monitoring and assessment activities have increased, more AQMAs have been established (e.g. from 26 in 2011 to 32 in 2013 to 38 in 2018) and it is expected this number may continue to rise

Air Quality in Scotland; Scotland's Environment – Air quality; see also Figure B6 (Appendix D) (Air Quality in Scotland – Air Quality Management Areas)

Pressures on air quality

agriculture, domestic sources, power generation and industrial processes, road transport,


SPICe Briefing – Air Quality in Scotland

Potential human health impacts of poor air quality

premature death, ischaemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, asthma, acute respiratory infections in children, diabetes, dementia, obesity


as above

Potential environmental impacts of poor air quality

reduced crop yields, stunted plant growth, impacts on livestock from reduced food quantity and quality, damage to natural ecosystems and the built environment from acid deposition, eutrophication of soil and water leading to biodiversity loss


as above

Climatic Factors

Greenhouse gas emissions* (EU ETS adjusted) (2015)

* includes carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (1990 baseline) and hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride (1995 baseline)

45.5 MtCO2e

41.0% reduction from 1990/1995 baseline

Scottish Government - Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions by forestry sector (2015)

-7.0 MtCO2e (i.e. net emissions removal)

absorption by forestry is likely to fall over the coming decades due to low planting and maturing forests

as above; SPICe - Scottish Forestry

Mean annual temperature (2016)


in general, temperatures have been increasing; eight of the ten warmest years on record in Scotland have occurred since 2001; the average temperature in the 2000s was 0.90°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average and warmer than any other decade since records began in 1910

Scottish Government temperature data (Metadata: Met Office); Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2016 (Metadata: Met Office)

Mean annual precipitation (2015)

2015 was the second wettest year since records began in 1910 with precipitation recorded at 33.3% above the 1961-1990 baseline

records show an overall increase in rainfall since the 1980s over previous decades, but there is seasonal and regional variation

Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2016 (Metadata: Met Office)

Climate projections for Scotland

in general, projections suggest observed climate trends will continue and intensify in the future

these include:

  • projected increases in mean annual temperature by the 2080s for Scottish regions range from 1.6°C to 4.5°C, with central estimates between 2.6°C and 3.0°C;
  • drier summers and wetter winters;
  • more seasonal rainfall; and
  • increased risk of flood, drought, and extreme weather events

as above

Historic Environment

Designations (2018)

6 World Heritage sites, 8 167 scheduled monuments, 377 gardens and designed landscapes, 39 battlefields, and 663 conservation areas


Historic Environment Scotland – Listing, scheduling and designations

Condition of historic environment overall (2014)

Scotland's historic environment is considered to be in moderate condition

conditions are considered to be stable

Scotland's Environment - State and Trend Assessment

Pressures on historic environment

development pressures, maintenance, land use, changing climate, coastal erosion, pollution, sustainability of traditional buildings, visitors


as above

Condition of scheduled monuments (2017)

around 88% of monuments are rated as being in satisfactory condition, 10% have major but localised problems, while 2% have extensive significant problems

Condition (2013-17) Percentage of scheduled monuments
Optimal 20%
Satisfactory with minor localised problems 41%
Satisfactory with significant localised problems 27%
Unsatisfactory with major localised problems 10%
Extensive significant problems 2%

certain areas in west Scotland have higher than average unsatisfactory condition scores; trees and tree regeneration are the most widespread causes of deterioration across six of the eight monument categories in terms of risk, 61% of monuments are considered to be at low risk (minimal or slight) of deterioration and 8% are considered to be at high (deterioration within 1 year) or immediate (ongoing deterioration) risk

Historic Environment Scotland – The Condition of Scotland's Scheduled Monuments – Results from Historic Environment Scotland's Monitoring Programme (publication pending)

Percentage of pre-1919 dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements national indicator (2016)


this is a reduction from a peak of 80% in 2012

Scottish Government - Improve the state of Scotland's historic sites National Indicator

Archaeological features associated with Scotland's woodlands

approximately 25 000


Forestry Commission Scotland – Scotland's woodlands and the historic environment

Examples of historical woodland features

wood banks, charcoal platforms, saw pits, park pale, ancient coppice stools, veteran trees


Forestry Commission – Archaeology Of wooded environments

Material Assets

Main types of land use (2014)

agriculture (~70%), woodland (~18%), urban (~2.5%)

thousands of years ago, woodland cover was the dominant land use type; over time, this decreased to make way for agriculture, which today greatly surpasses all other types of land use, although agricultural land has decreased in area from 1982, likely due to woodland and urban expansion

Scotland's Environment – Land use and management

Key land-based industries

agriculture (crops and livestock), forestry, sporting (e.g. deer management), food and drink, mining and aggregate extraction, energy, tourism


as above

Agricultural land use in Scotland (2016)

~50% rough grazing; ~25% grass; ~10% used for crops or left fallow; ~15% used for woodland, ponds, yards, or other uses

since 2000, these proportions have remained relatively stable; however, the NA2 Area of Prime Agricultural Land (Land Capability) Indicator suggests a long-term trend towards an increase in prime agricultural land in response to climate change (e.g. warmer, drier summers)

Scottish Government – Agricultural Land Use in Scotland; Scottish Government Rural and Environment Analytical Services – Economic Trends in Scottish Agriculture; ClimateXChange – NA2 Area of Prime Agricultural Land (Land Capability) Indicator

Area of woodland on farms (2016)

502 400ha

woodland on farms has increased in area since 2007 (279 900ha)

Forestry Commission - Forestry Statistics 2017

Extent of built development landscape national indicator (2009)

122 498ha (1.55% of Scotland's land area)

no trend data available

SNH Landscape Indicator LBD1 – Extent of Built Development

Waste sent to landfill (2014)

4.02 million tonnes

42% reduction from 2005

Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2016 (Metadata: SEPA)

Amount of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) sent to landfill (2014)

1.06 million tonnes

51% reduction from 2005

as above

Household waste recycling rate (2015)


increase from 42.8% in 2014

as above

Timber harvesting (2016)

8.4 million m3

timber harvesting has increased relatively steadily over the past 35 years, with current volumes roughly seven times those of the late 1970s

Forestry Commission - Forestry Statistics 2017

Restocking in Scotland (2016-2017)

11 100ha


as above

Restocking by ownership (2016-2017)

6 700ha Forestry Commission


as above

4 400ha private sector

Restocking by forest type (2016-2017)

9 100ha conifers


as above

2 000ha broadleaves

Non-timber forest products

more than 200, including wild and managed game; berries, mushrooms, and other edible plants; medicinal plants; foliage, seeds, bark, and resins; dyes and craft materials


ForestHarvest website

Pressures on material assets

increased demand for energy, water, raw materials, transport infrastructure, etc. leading to burdens on capacity and congestion; mismanagement; competition for space; climate change (e.g. increased vulnerability to flooding)


National Infrastructure Commission – Congestion, Capacity, Carbon: Priorities for National Infrastructure; European Environment Agency – Landscapes in transition; Committee on Climate Change - Infrastructure


Area of National Landscape Designations national indicator (2016)

  • 25.2% (1 988 000ha) of land covered by one or more form of landscape designation;
  • 17.5% (1 381 100ha) of land and sea designated as National Scenic Area (13% of Scotland's land designated as National Scenic Area, mostly found in more remote and mountainous areas).
  • 8.1% (639 100ha) of land designated as National Parks;
  • 1.0% (76 500ha) land with Inventory of Gardens & Designed Landscapes status;
  • 0.3% (27 000ha) of land with Battlefields Inventory status;
  • 0.2% (18 300ha) of land scheduled as Scheduled Monuments

increase from approximately 17% in 1996, due in large part to designation of Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Parks

SNH Landscape Indicator LLQ1 0 Area of National Landscape Designations; see also Figure B2 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)


3 (10% of Scotland's total land area)


SNH - Geopark

Wild land areas

42 (mostly in the north and west)


SNH - Wild Land Area descriptions; see also Figure B5 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)

Landscape Character Assessment

includes coastal, highland, island, lowland, and upland areas


see also Figure B8 (Appendix D) (Scotland's Environment map)

Visual influence of built development national indicator* (2013)

* The components that make up this indicator are: Airfields; Major bridges; Extraction industries; Offshore surface structures;

Wind Turbines; Tall structures without wind turbines; Building density (low and high); Motorways; Trunk roads; Non trunk A roads; B Roads; Minor roads and tracks (all); Railways; Overhead lines

one or more types of built development could be seen from 73% (5 750 855ha) of Scotland's land area (7 880 880ha)

this represents an increase from 71.4% in 2012 and from 65.4% in 2008

SNH Natural Heritage Indicator N3 - Visual influence of built environment

Pressures on landscapes

climate change (e.g. loss of land to sea, flooding, changes in distribution of natural and semi-natural habitats, changes in plant composition due to pests or pathogens, etc.), incremental and ongoing development (e.g. infrastructure projects, housing, wind farms, etc.), and land use and intensification of land use and management (e.g. monoculture crops)


Scotland's Environment - Landscape


Email: Bob Frost